Once inside the building, it became clear just how massive it was. Though it had initially appeared to be large enough to hold a few animals, from inside it seemed to be almost like a cathedral, spacious enough to hold a veritable congregation of creatures.
Directing my torch about the place, I felt dry heaves racking my chest. The walls were, if not painted, with blood then splattered on multiple occasions by a large amount of the liquid. This rationalization seemed increasingly unlikely as I looked around however, as the coverage, though erratic, seemed very much intentional.
Bones were scattered on the floor, a wealth of human and animal skeletons in varying levels of completeness. Most were twisted and cracked in places, seemingly at random. Whatever we mutilating the bodies wasn’t after the marrow, it was doing it simply because. Looking back at the group, I found the farmer’s son vomiting on his shoes while the father cried hysterically.
Strange runes were painted across the floor and rocks were arranged in ways that imagined vague altars. Whatever monster had done this was no mere animal, and I felt a sick pride that my initial suspicion must be correct. I was no stranger to the depravity of humankind.
From outside we heard the growling. Chills went down my spine, and, pressing my back against one of the sticky walls, I tried to repress my need to hyperventilate while I pointed my gun at the doorway.
The creature entered walking on four legs, and I at first mistook it for a deer, but once through the narrow passage it stood up to its full height. It stood twelve or thirteen feet tall, and looked partially like an emaciated human. Its skin was stretched over its bulging ribcage and pelvis as if ready to rip, and its long arms hung almost to the ground, with fingers that must have been almost a foot each. Its knees were bent backwards like those of an animal, but their contortion seemed forced and unnatural as if the skeletal structure of the monster had been reshaped after being already decided.
Its feet were white and round with small nubs on the end, suggesting toes that had been cut off or otherwise removed.The head was mostly covered by a deer’s skull worn as a head covering, but what could be seen of the face appeared to be frostbitten and scarred beyond any sort of recognition. The mouth hung open with the lower jaw noticeably crooked.
When entering the monster had skittered across the gory ice on its long fingertips and nubbed feet, its twisted knees out to the side. Now it slowly stumbled toward the main group, its plodding steps forcedly deliberate.
I pointed my Luger at the monster and focused on stilling my racing heart. The creature suddenly stopped, and its head snapped to looking at me. The skull lifted up to reveal a child’s face, though frozen and horrifically rotted. A voice like that of dozens of children overlaid screamed for help before eroding into an incoherent and monstrous cacophony. From the beast a horrific sound like a hurricane gathering strength emanated, and its legs bent under it as it leapt at me.
I unloaded on it. We all did.
Its long fingers dug like icy needles into my chest, and I found myself looking into the child’s dead eyes, one twisted in the socket and partially knocked out from some trauma. The eyes were blue and black and thoroughly cloudy, devoid of any soul of sentience. Its lipless mouth opened and closed repeatedly against my cheek as my vision swam. Wrenching its hands out of my body, I watched with bleary eyes as the beast turned toward the surviving group members. Though I slipped in and out of consciousness during the slaughter, I remember much of it distinctly.
It was too horrible for me to recite here.
Somehow I dragged myself to the road. One of the other party members must have ran off because the creature left the den, and seizing my chance, I took off with all my remaining strength.
I woke up in a hospital bed, the entire front of my body wrapped in bandages, and with many long stab wounds plugged with gauze. It was too long before I could return home, and as soon as I did I set to recording this tale. I refused to tell the authorities what happened to me, so this will have to serve as the truth of my death. The news informs me as well that the politician and his wife in the JAO have gone missing as well. Soon it will be too late for all of us.
I now lie in bed with my Luger pressed to my temple.
I lived for years with a heavy mind. My service in the Schutzstaffel did not bother me, nor did my time as a prisoner of war to the Soviets.
But this. Oh God this. I cannot close my eyes without seeing the monster.